By publishing general purpose extensions under the company brand name, SketchUp cannibalizes its own developers community. Should there be internal rules that protect extension developers from SketchUp?
In the future, SketchUp employees should not publish personal projects under the company brand (but on personal accounts).
- The SketchUp brand gives disproportionately wide exposure and promotion, which creates an unfair advantage over existing extensions for the same purpose.
- Users assume extensions under the brand are officially affiliated with SketchUp, have significantly high quality and are covered by SketchUp QA, which is not necessarily the case.
SketchUp should publish “official” extensions only if they are either:
- linked to SketchUp/Trimble products and thus unlikely to ever compete against community works (Trimble Connect, AR|VR Extension for SketchUp Viewer App, etc.)
- be a unique SketchUp feature (Dynamic Components, etc.)
(Any new extension could be required to offer something sufficiently distinct and not replicate existing functionality or extensions, as it was already stated by the guidelines.)
Without extensions, SketchUp’s native features comprise a basic sketching tool, but don’t stand up a comparison with its competitors. Without extension developers, SketchUp is a zero.